Winter Storm Threatens Germany’s Power…Freezing Hell If Already Rickety Grid Collapses

Green energy and COVID-19 lockdowns are playing energy Russian roulette with people’s lives. Perfect winter storm brewing. 

A winter blizzard is set to strike Central Europe, bringing with it the potential to wreak power outage havoc. Temperatures will plummet to as low as -15°C accompanied by bone-chilling high winds. Closed shops due to COVID-19 are leaving citizens unprepared. A protracted power outage would be devastating. 

In the coming hours, a high pressure system situated over Scandinavia and storm Tristan to the south will collide over central Europe and develop into dangerous weather conditions over one of Europe’s most populated regions, North Rhine Westphalia Germany.

Watch the Kachelmann forecast (in German) here. 

There are some major problems with this storm that will test the German power grid stability and even possibly the citizens’ ability to fend for themselves.

Power grid at risk: hours of freezing rain

First will be the band of freezing rain that is forecast across the Ruhr region of North Rhine Westphalia. According to Kachelmannwetter.de, the freezing rain period could last hours and thus lead to heavy weight loads on power transmission structures as ice builds up. Lines could collapse.

High winds – even heavier loads

To make matters worse, high winds will further exacerbate the loads on the already ice-coated power transmission infrastructure – thus increasing the probability of power line structural failure and an ensuing power blackout, which in turn could cascade and threaten the European power grid.

Winter blackout not unprecedented

Such a blackout would not be unprecedented. In 2006, a major European blackout was caused by a disconnection of a powerline crossing in northwest Germany. The power outage quickly cascaded across Europe, extending from Poland in the north-east, to the Benelux countries and France in the west, through to Portugal, Spain and Morocco in the south-west, and across to Greece and the Balkans in the south-east.

Also just last month a major European blackout was narrowly averted. The cause: wintry weather, which was mild compared to what is forecast to hit soon.

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